Who could come to Tokyo and not experience the famous Shibuya station crossing? Not me, that’s for sure. And, as an added bonus, I discovered L&L Barbeque, a Hawaiian-style food chain in the Islands, nearby and couldn’t pass up the chance to eat food from home.
All I can say about the crossing is that I did it a few times just for the hell of it. I mean, yes, there are tons of people crossing at the same time. Yes, I’m sure it looks chaotic from above as it certainly felt like it from below. But, in all honesty, it’s just a major intersection. I don’t really get the hoopla of it all.
In contrast, I can definitely see why L&L Barbeque made it all the way to Japan. The place is a tropical escape hidden within the fast-paced, seemingly space-aged, world outside. The items on the menu definitely reflected the food in Hawaii and the atmosphere of the restaurant outdoes any L&L at home by tenfold.
This place exuded the island lifestyle, from its friendly, aloha-shirted staff to the surf videos on wall-mounted tvs. And if the menu and environment weren’t enough to convince me, I spotted jars of Best Foods mayonnaise lining the kitchen wall. In my opinion, nothing says local-style macaroni salad more than Best Foods. This place was really going all the way to make this dining experience authentic to the Islands.
There were so many things on the menu that I hadn’t eaten for so long, but I decided on the loco moco as I figured this would be a true test of their authenticity. Could they get this Hawaiian staple down? A loco moco consists of rice topped with a handmade hamburger patty, over-easy egg and brown gravy served with macaroni salad. Here the egg was more sunny-side up but that was fine. After one bite, I knew this place was the real deal as the gravy and mac salad tasted just like it does at home. It’s amazing how your sense of taste and smell can transport you miles and miles away.
I ate and ate to my heart’s content despite being semi-full even before I walked into the joint. Some things that are this good cannot be passed up. By the time I finished my meal, I had to waddle out of the place and was happy to be returning to the hostel for a good night’s rest.